Industrialisation and diversity

I watched Sustainable: A Documentary last night. The concept of “industrialised agriculture” was brought to light.

It made me wonder this morning if some segment of the software industry has begun to travel down a similar path of “industrialised software development”.

(Work in progress)

Some of the symptoms of “industrialisation” observed in agriculture:

  • Large, monolithic farming operations
  • Uniformity; lack of diversity in crops, produce.
  • Low yield, fragile production
  • Vendor lock-in, reliance on centralised incumbents.
  • Emphasis on focused intervention vs systemic rebalancing.

On Diversity/Uniformity

There was a story that one of the presenters was sharing about landrace crops that really struck me.

Imagine you were a robber, and you wanted to break into a house. In order to do that, you would need to somehow get the key to unlock the front door. For every house you wante to break into, you would need a slightly different key because each lock is different.

This is what diversity gives us – a different lock for every door.

Now imagine if all the locks of the front doors of all the houses in the neighbourhood used the exact same key – a robber would only need to acquire one key to rob the entire neighbourhood.

This is the inherant danger of uniformity.